The last few days have been very full, if not exactly busy.
On Friday one of the 3 Andreas, who we privately refer to as Andrea the Elder although he is hardly old, borrowed a Roman version of a ZipCar and gave us a ride to our new apartment. It is on Lungotevere (along the Tiber river) in the Flaminio District which is north of the center near the Olympic stadium and the new Maxxi Museum of Art and Architecture of the 21st Century designed by Zaha Hadid. Although we will miss the opening of the latter, I am looking forward to going up there soon to see it from the outside.
I didn't realize it when I took this picture but our apartment is the upper one on the far right. It has a terrace just to the right out of the picture.
We are in a complex called the Villa Riccio, apparently built in 1921 by Senator Riccio for families of functionaries. It consists of Palazzos (and Palazzinis, little palazzos, I guess), most of which are 4 stories high and are painted a warm deep orange. A great feature is the beautiful gardens throughout the complex with a wide variety of plants, fruit trees, flowers, and cats!
At first the apartment itself was a bit of a disappointment because what was probably a beautiful high ceilinged space has been converted to a funky temporary feeling place with creaky wood floors probably laid right on top of the old stone floors, poor quality Ikea cabinets and white wash everywhere even on the bathroom tile! Everything was slightly grungy and the terrace was terribly neglected with dead plants and lots of mess. However, the decorations are rather unique, arty or hippie, I don't know which, with lots of purple, orange silk drapes and candle stubs everywhere.
It didn't smell very good when we first arrived but I bought some Oust and it's fine now. At least it was somewhat clean and the linens were definitely clean. I've spent a bit of time cleaning more deeply and getting familiar with the neighborhood. (Where DO you buy sponges and what are they called in Italian?) I've particularly enjoyed working on the terrace, lots of weeding to do, and today I got some marigolds to plant. (Need to pick up a trowel too! Where to you get one of THOSE?)
Here is Bill in the shade on the terrace. We have had several pleasant meals there already. Unfortunately the weather has been a bit rainy (I wonder if the ash cloud is contributing to this??) so sitting out is not yet our Always Thing.
Here is the view from the terrace looking south.
The gorgeous orange is from the clay tennis courts at the Navy Club across the street, and the river of course is the Tiber river, the Tevere. The river of cars on the lower left are the crowd heading back to town after a soccer game on Sunday.
The next day we went out walking and didn't get home until nearly midnight. We wandered throughout the 'historic center', the Pantheon is under reconstruction, and finished up with a lovely meal at one of our favorite fish places in Trastevere, Paris. After dinner we took a taxi home and learned from our driver that we had missed the Million Marijuana March this year! Darn!
Sunday we worked, and Monday Bill gave his first lecture and I went to the big Caravaggio exhibit at the Scuderie (horse stables but now an exhibition place) near the Quirinale. Although there are already quite a few Caravaggios in Rome, this exhibit includes some works in private collections that may not be on exhibit again anytime soon. All the reservations are sold out so I had to wait nearly 2 hours to get in but I would say this was one event for which it was worth waiting! Luckily it was quite cool and I was behind a friendly history of art student from La Sapienza, so we got to talk art before the show.
Now I'm off to find that trowel and maybe a piece of pizza.